Barjaktarovich Named Preseason DPOY, Three Mountain Hawks Named Preseason All-PL

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Three members of the Lehigh softball program garnered preseason recognition as the Patriot League announced its softball preseason poll, major awards and all-league teams on Wednesday. Graduate student shortstop Carley Barjaktarovich was recognized as the league’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, and was joined on the Preseason All-Patriot League team by senior outfielder Emily Cimino and junior pitcher Katelyn Young.

A tightly-contested preseason poll has the defending champion Mountain Hawks picked second, two points and two first-place votes behind Boston University.

The Patriot League Preseason Poll and All-League teams are voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.

Lehigh garnered 66 points and six first-place votes, while Boston University paced the poll with 68 points and eight first-place votes.

Barjaktarovich enters her fifth season at Lehigh as a two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year. She is a two-team All-Patriot League honoree, earning first team accolades in 2022, and a two-time NFCA Mid-Atlantic All-Region selection. Last year Barjaktarovich led the Mountain Hawks with a .366 batting average, 36 runs scored, 60 hits and 23 stolen bases. She boasted a .983 fielding percentage with just three errors in 175 chances as Lehigh’s starting shortstop.

A team captain with Barjaktarovich last season, Cimino was a second team all-league honoree. She batted .358 over 50 games last season with four home runs and 33 RBIs, ranking second on the team in all three categories. Lehigh’s starting left fielder, Cimino was especially tough during the Patriot League regular season, batting .385 with 17 RBIs over those 18 games.

Young enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign where she led Lehigh in wins (18), innings pitched (163.1) and shutouts (three). She was also exceptionally strong in Patriot League play, going 10-1 with a pair of shutouts in 13 regular season appearances. Young was named to the Patriot League’s All-Tournament team, going 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in Lehigh’s run to the championship.

Army West Point was picked third in the preseason poll, followed by Colgate, Holy Cross, Bucknell and Lafayette.

Boston University garnered the other two major awards with shortstop Kayla Roncin named Preseason Player of the Year and Allison Boaz named Preseason Pitcher of the Year.

Lehigh went 31-20-1 last season and won its league-leading 15th tournament crown, defeating BU twice on the final day of the league tournament.

The Mountain Hawks will open the 2023 campaign at the Leadoff Classic, Feb. 10-11 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where the Mountain Hawks will play two games against both Georgia Southern and host and No. 7/9 Alabama.

2023 Patriot League Softball Preseason Awards
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year – Kayla Roncin, Boston University, Jr., SS
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year – Carley Barjaktarovich, Lehigh, Gr., SS
Preseason Pitcher of the Year – Allison Boaz, Boston University, Sr., P

Preseason All Patriot League Team

Kayla Edwards, Army West Point, Jr., OF
Lizzy Avery, Boston University, Sr., P
Allison Boaz, Boston University, Sr., P
Caitlin Coker, Boston University, Sr., 3B
Emily Gant, Boston University, Gr., OF
Lauren Keleher, Boston University, Jr., OF
Kayla Roncin, Boston University, Jr., SS
Jillian Herbst, Colgate, Sun., 2B
Megan Yurchick, Holy Cross, Jr., P/1B
Carley Barjaktarovich, Lehigh, Gr., SS
Emily Cimino, Lehigh, Sr., OF
Katelyn Young, Lehigh, Jr., P

Preseason Poll

Boston University – 68 (8 first place votes)
Lehigh – 66 (6)
Army West Point – 48
Holy Cross – 34
Bucknell – 24
Lafayette – 12

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